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Man makes ‘idiot’ of himself over COVID-19 pub restrictions

A MAN who argued with staff, patrons and the manager of a pub over COVID-19 restrictions has been fined $1500.

Dale Evan Walker, 52, pleaded guilty on August 11 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count each of fail to leave licenced premises, public nuisance in the vicinity of licence premise and behave disorderly in licence premise.

Police prosecutor Clancy Fox said police were called to the Glenmore Tavern at 10.30pm on July 26 in relation to a male refusing to leave the premises after being asked by staff.

He said when police arrived, the male had left in a taxi.

Mr Fox said CCTV showed the defendant consuming alcohol in the pokie area of the tavern.

He said due to COVID-19 restrictions, Walker was asked to sit down by a patron, then a staff member who Walker told he had back pain and refused to sit down.

Mr Fox said the staff member ushered the manager to Walker.

He said Walker argued loudly, waving his arms around which caused patrons to look around.

Mr Fox said the manager told Walker if he did not sit down, he would have to leave.

He said Walker then went around the tavern, pointing at signs saying 'stand'.

The manager again asked Walker to leave, and after he walked outside, the manager went to check if he had left.

Walker called out to the manager that they were racist and a redneck.

Mr Fox said Walker's criminal record included many similar offences, but no physical violence.

He said this offending took place during a period where businesses were already operating in a difficult climate.

Mr Fox said this belligerent behaviour ruined the socialising experience for other patrons and caused stress to staff.

Defence lawyer Samantha Legrady said her client had been employed at a mine up until seven months ago when COVID-19 impacted work.

She said Walker was heavily intoxicated at the tavern and was "extremely sorry".

Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale said it was concerning a man of Walker's age "makes an idiot" of himself in a hotel.

She ordered Walker to pay $1500 in fines and convictions were recorded.



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